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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Allergies

Hygiene-325The hygiene hypothesis is a theory used to explain why there has been an increase in allergies around the world.

What exactly is hygiene?

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes hygiene as conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases, which means the things that you do to keep yourself and your surroundings clean to maintain good health. This might include bathing, dental care, handwashing, using clean water sources, keeping human and animal waste away from food and water, all with the goal of preventing infectious disease. This is a good thing, overall, we want clean and sanitary living conditions, but, in theory, it may be contributing to immune system confusion.

Tagged in: Allergies Pets

Posted by on in Allergy

160927FluVaccines-325It is recommended that everyone older than 6 months receive an annual influenza vaccination, especially children, seniors, those who have asthma, and women who are pregnant.

In the past, there has been concern about vaccinating patients who have a history of egg allergy because the majority of injectable and nasal influenza vaccines are cultured in fluid from chick embryos. However, the current flu vaccines have very small amounts of egg allergen in them. Studies have shown that patients with egg allergy, even those with a history of severe anaphylactic reactions, can safely receive a flu shot. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to skin test with the flu vaccine prior to receiving it.

 

Tagged in: Allergies Flu Shots

160913PetsGoodHealth-325For years, I've heard about how pets can help lower stress, which can improve your body and your mind. And I've always wondered, is this really true?

In my personal experience, I have found that having pets at home does decrease my stress, gets me out of the house to walk, gives me joy when I see them play—and I just adore coming home to someone so excited to see me. Seeing the wagging tail and hearing the happy sounds my dog makes when I return is really comforting, and it always brings a smile to my weary face.

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Tagged in: Allergies Pets

150602Immunotherapy-300Those who suffer from grass or ragweed allergies and could benefit from immunotherapy treatment now have another option, one that doesn't involve shots or regular trips to the allergy office.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) been used in Europe for more than a decade with success. Last spring, the FDA approved its use in the United States. For those with grass allergies, there are two products, Oralair and Grastek, and for those with ragweed allergy, Ragwitek is available. Like traditional allergy shots, SLIT is used to induce tolerance to a particular environmental allergen, changing the way a body reacts to an allergen over time.

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Tagged in: Allergies Immunology

140622OSM peanutblog finalNew treatments may soon be available for patients with peanut allergy. For decades, our best therapy was identification, avoidance and treatment of reactions with epinephrine and antihistamine. But this could change with a new procedure called oral peanut desensitization.

While attending an allergy conference, I listened to a debate about peanut desensitization and whether it is helpful, safe and ready for the general public. An allergist from Lake Oswego, who is currently treating selected patients with desensitization, argued for it, while an allergist from Seattle argued against it.

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140425OSMasthmaawareness 1Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the lungs, causing coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Here are 10 reasons why Asthma Awareness Month is so important:

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Many people suffering from nasal congestion or post-nasal drip turn to the ancient practice of nasal irrigation to help relieve their symptoms. Scientific studies point to its beneficial uses, because irrigation:

  • Acts as a car wash for your nose, by cleaning out irritants and allergens that are present on your mucous membranes.
  • Clears away or thins out mucus. Believe it or not, our body produces about a quart of mucus in our lungs, nose and throat on a normal day. We only notice it when it makes more than usual or it gets thicker and more difficult to swallow. Thin mucus is less bothersome.
  • Helps wash away chemical messengers your nose uses when you’re experiencing symptoms.
  • Irrigation helps improve mucus clearance, which is accomplished by the beating of millions of microscopic hairs called cilia that move mucus down your throat to swallow and digest. You can test this at home by putting a little NutraSweet into your nose with a Q-tip. In a few minutes you will taste it in the back of your mouth.

BlueSprAwards 082313 0002 1Summer is just around the corner! If you have a child with food allergies, sending them away to summer camp can be a little scary. Camp Blue Spruce is an excellent option and a great way to provide your allergic child with a fun and worry-free, sleep-away experience.

Camp Blue Spruce is a one-week overnight summer camp designed especially for children with food allergies. This summer, the camp will run August 17-22. The camp is located on a beautiful property near Banks, Oregon, about 30 miles from Portland.

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131216OSMtravelallergiesWe frequently get calls from patients who’ve either lost or forgotten medications when they are traveling. If you suffer from allergies and asthma, consider these six tips before you head out on vacation:

1. See your physician: Before you go on that well-deserved trip, see your physician and let him or her know your travel destination. Discuss concerns you might have, especially if you know you are going to be exposed to something you are allergic to, such as a friend’s cat or dog. Your doctor may be able to provide helpful advice.

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A patient recently asked me how to tell whether her EpiPen® was still usable. Knowing that other patients may have the same question, I’d be happy to provide some answers.

An EpiPen® allows a person to inject epinephrine (adrenaline) into the body when a severe anaphylactic reaction takes place, often caused by a bee sting or food allergies.

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Tagged in: Allergies EpiPen